Maserati was founded in Bologna in 1914 by Alfieri Maserati as a car repair workshop. Then, in 1926, the Maserati brothers
took over Diatto, a small racing car manufacturing company from Turin. Drawing on their mechanical experience and with the
materials available to them, that same year they built their first car, the “Tipo 26”.
Since then, in the course of its long history, Maserati has kept the most significant vehicles produced in addition to the prototypes, creating over the decades, a collection of cars, engines and components which are unique and able to illustrate the historical, technical and design evolution of the company.
The desire to systematically preserve the vehicles as testimony to an industrial process which has developed over time, has made it possible for this organic collection, spread over the entire production life of the company, to pass on the value of the history of Maserati to generations to come.
In 1965, the Orsi family who owned the company, decided to open the car Collection to the public following the criteria of a museum type collection, fitting out an exclusive area within the factory in Viale Ciro Menotti in Modena.
Since October 27 1965, the day of the official opening of the museum in the presence of the World Champion JM Fangio and the most important Italian journalists in this field, the Maserati Museum has been visited by tens of thousands of people from all over the world..
Since that year, the Museum Collection has been gradually improved, thanks to the restoration of some cars which were already
part of the Collection, and enriched even further with new pieces including the famous Maserati 6 CM from 1936, a worthy
representative of the history of the pre-war Maserati.
In May 1993, F.I.A.T. bought Maserati from the De Tomaso Group through the acquisition of 100 % of the shares of Maserati SpA while the Collection, while still remaining on show within the company premises, remained in the possession of the Company's existing and original Officine Alfieri Maserati S.p.a., which later became O.A.M. s.r.l. In December 1994, on the 80th anniversary of the founding of the vehicle manufacturer, an exhibition was prepared at the Bologna Motor Show and the new museum in the head office of the plant was opened. This museum had historic information panels, engines and some cars on display in chronological order to give all visitors the opportunity to experience a piece of Italian automotive history from Modena.
In July 1996, De Tomaso legitimately requested that the cars and engines of the Museum Collection be returned. Maserati accepted the request, but purchased part of the Collection consisting of 15 engines which were then exhibited within the company premises in Modena, while on De Tommaso's instructions, 19 cars were sent to England to be sold at auction in London.
The auction was arranged by Brooks Auction house and was supposed to take place on 2nd December 1996.
News of the forthcoming sale of the cars which would have caused the city of Modena to lose a heritage that was fundamental to the city, alarmed all those passionate about the cars as well as the local authorities and on 18th October 1996, the alarm was sounded.
The Minister for Culture, Walter Veltroni, the Mayor of Modena, Giuliano Barbolini and local associations immediately got to work on finding a solution which would allow the recovery of this historical and cultural heritage which the city of Modena was in danger of losing forever.
The problem was put to the Panini family and Umberto Panini immediately took action to prevent the historic Maserati cars from being lost.
Thanks to the intervention of the Panini family, shortly before the fateful date, Brooks auction house announced that the Maserati Collection had been withdrawn from auction and was to return to the city of origin, housed in the premises owned by the Panini family.
The Maserati Museum today:
Since then, the Collection of 19 vintage Maserati cars can be seen and enjoyed at the Museum known as CUP (Umberto Panini Collection).
In 1933 Tazio Nuvolari after having claimed a series of magnificent victories (Tunis Grand Prix, the Mille Miglia, The circuit of Alessandria, Eifelrennen , the Nîmes Grand Prix and the 24 Hours Le Mans with Raymond Sommer), "divorced" resoundingly from the Scuderia Ferrari. He was convinced that by «working for himself», he would have better cars and make more money. With the 6C 34 he was to go on and win the Modena and Naples Grand Prix. The 6C 34 was equipped with a six-cylinder inline engine which was more powerful by 30 hp and 13 kg lighter compared to the eight cylinders mounted on the 8CM.
ELEGANCE IN RACING
In order to compete in the Sports Prototype World Championship, the A6GCS/53 was developed with an engine generating 170 bhp. It was a spyder designed by Gioacchino Colombo and built by Medardo Fantuzzi and Celestino Fiandri. The A6 GCS claimed important victories such as the Italian Grand Prix in 1953 and 1954. Four Berlinetta by Pininfarina were built, made to order for the businessman Guglielmo Dei who purchased the chassis from Maserati.
THE ERA OF THE "GT" SPORT CARS BEGINS
Heir to the A6G 2000, it was not a particularly powerful model and as a result, only a limited number were produced. The six-cylinder inline short stroke engine, was partly based on the one fitted on the A6 GCS and that of the A6 GCM. It did however allow the model to reach 210 km/h, a remarkable speed for its time, thanks to the long final drive ratio
THE REAL ITALIAN "GT"
Testimony to the transformation from a factory of racing cars to a factory of road cars was the 3500 GT, placed on the market in 1957. It was created directly from the experiences of the six-cylinder racing cars, the engine was nothing more than the road version of the 350S. The 3500 GT proved itself to be guarantor of Maserati’s future contributing with its significant sales success to the rapid economic recovery of the company. The body was produced by Touring of Milan and was always true to the motto: “Weight is the enemy; air resistance the obstacle”.
THE FANGIO CAR ENVIED BY ALL DRIVERS
Seven seasons of F1, a World Driver's Championship (in 1957, with Fangio), leaders in numerous Grand Prix, and the merit of introducing the first woman in a Grand Prix: Maria Teresa De Filippis in 1958. The "250F" ("250" stands for 2500 cm³ and "F" for Formula) was created based on the 1953 "A6 GCM" from which the six-cylinder inline engine was taken: all in aluminium, seven main journals, with double overhead camshafts and dual ignition. Initially it delivered 240 hp at 7400 rpm, but it was to reach more than 270 hp at 8000 rpm with the V12. This is the prototype with which Fangio tried in vain to qualify at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1957, an attempt which failed due to excessive engine power.
THE ICE CREAM MACHINE FOR "MONZANAPOLIS"
Built specifically for the 1958 500 Miglia di Monza in which the great Stirling Moss fought for the top positions. The Eldorado featured a chassis inspired by the lightened 250F road series, with a front suspension originating from the 450S, a De Dion type rear axle and the engine originating from the 4500 cc engine capacity reduced to 4200. The Eldorado was the first racing car in Europe to be sponsored completely by a company outside the automotive world.
THE ERA OF THE "WINDS" BEGINS
As part of the Berlinetta grand touring, Mistral which was presented at the Salone di Torino in 1963 and a year later in the spyder version, was a perfect combination of tried and tested mechanics with a new attractive shape, characterized on the front by the air intake for the radiator below the bumper for the first time on a production car.
GIUGIARO PUTS HIS NAME ON HIS FIRST MASERATI
After the impressive saloon cars, Maserati returned to exploiting the sports genre with Ghibli. Thanks to the 4700 cc dry sump engine and the tubular chassis, Giorgetto Giugiaro designed this wonderful coupe for Ghia (including a magnificent spider version of which only 125 were made). This car which was aggressive-looking and sleek but not too flashy, was one of the cornerstones of its success.
A CAGE FOR LE MANS
Recognized by all as the best interpretation of the sports car, the "birdcage" was first studied in 1959 for the Tipo 60 (2000 cc) version and then later for the Tipo 61 version with the common concept of light weight and high stiffness represented by the unique construction of the chassis, consisting of more than 200 small segments of pipe with a diameter of 10, 12 and 15 mm forming a lattice weighing only 36 kg.
MASERATI EVOLUTION AT ITS BEST FOR THE SPORT TWO-SEATER
The natural technical evolution of the Tipo 61 was born with theTipo 63. This new sports car with a rear engine was tested in December 1960; the chassis was essentially the same as that of the 61, but with the rear-wheel independent suspension and two side tanks for fuel. Initially, the tested 4-cylinder 2890 cc was chosen but in April 1961 Alfieri fitted the 63 with the V 12 which was originally designed for the 250F for the 24 Hours Le Mans.
THE LAST TRUE "WIND" OF MASERATI
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign and produced from 1971 to 1979, the Bora was the first Maserati Grand Touring with a mid-rear engine. With this model, the company showed that it was possible to build grand touring cars with high-performance and comfort, faithful to the tradition of Maserati while placing the engine at the rear.
MASERATI'S FIRST STAR
When Citroën took control of Maserati in 1968, Alfieri studied a two-seater coupe with a V8 mid-engine in line with the trend of the time dictated by a sports look just like the Lamborghini Countach and the Ferrari boxer. This is how Maserati Bora was born. At the same time it was decided that an even smaller car was to be produced to compete with the Ferrari Dino GT4 and the Lamborghini Urraco. This project led to Merak. Designed by Giugiaro, it orginated directly from the Bora but its roof ended suddenly with a vertical rear window and a completely flat rear bonnet; Giugiaro however, managed to cleverly connect the roof with two arched fins like the tail end of the Bora.
He was born in Pozza di Maranello (MO) in 1930, the seventh of eight children. After his professional training, he found
employment as a blacksmith, welder and mechanic in various workshops in Modena including Stanguellini and Maserati Moto.
In 1957, at the age of 27, he set off for Venezuela in search of his fortune. In and around Caracas he matured as a technical expert and as an "Hombre", learning how to look after himself as life had never done him any favours. He was joined in 1959 by his wife Tina Bertacchini, who he had married by proxy and who gave him his children Manuela, Marco, Giovanni and Matteo. In 1964 he returned to Italy to work alongside his brothers and sisters in the family publishing company, Edizioni Panini, specialising in the production of stickers where he designed and created the famous "Fifimatic" for packing. Back in Modena he threw himself into becoming an entrepreneur of the stickers together with his brothers Giuseppe, Franco and Benito and in 1972 bought the “finca” of his dreams: 30 cows and 30 hectares of land, calling it by his Venezuelan nickname ‘Hombre’.
Panini, as obssessed with Modena and Emilia as his brother Giuseppe, King of the stickers and volleyball, is convinced, and quite rightly so, that Parmesan is the best cheese in the world. He wanted to find a way to produce it according to nature, just like in the seven centuries past, but using the most advanced technology.
For some time, I had the idea - says Umberto - of designing a closed cycle organic farm, completely independent of
external factors , where everything is grown, created and developed within. This point is essential: it is the only way
to achieve a totally safe organic product since the success of the cheese depends 100 % on the cows’ diet. It might just
be my impression, but thanks to this closed organic cycle, the animals seem to live a much more relaxed life.
You can hardly hear them. One thing is certain, the final result: the inspectors of the Consortium of Parmigiano-Reggiano authorise us to use the Consortium trademark for one hundred percent of our wheels of cheese. Today Hombre processes 6,000 litres of milk a day to produce 12 wheels of cheese with 15 employees who are involved in the cultivation of land (310 hectares of which 200 hectares are in a single body of land), rearing of dairy cattle, milking, processing of milk in the company dairy and the maturation of the cheeses for 24 months in the storage rooms. For one wheel of cheese, 500 litres of super selected milk is required.
The Umberto Panini Collection is located within the Hombre organic farm of the Panini Family, just outside the outskirts of Modena, between the towns of Baggiovara and Cognento.
The Collection can be visit only upon written or phone request.
OPENING TIMES TO THE PUBLIC:
From Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 13:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Closed on Sunday.
Extra closures for the national and local holidays and other periods of the year (send any info request via email or telephone)
Guided tours with mandatory reservation via email or phone call.
Via Scudari, 10
41121 Modena - Italy
Tel: +39 059 220022